Going away to college comes with new responsibility and independence that you might not be used to. This may feel exhilarating and wonderful, but it can become quite a scary concept when you get sick out of nowhere and you don't have your parents in the next room over to help you. One of the most annoying "ailments" that you might have to face while on your own is a stomachache. And while it may seem like a very minor issue that you know how to handle, sometimes, in the moment, you might be out of ideas and desperate to feel better again.
This is why Fresh U has found 20 stomachache remedies that you can make in your dorm room. Below you will find 16 items that you can eat or drink to relieve pain, and four other tricks that you can do to help your hurting stomach.
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is sort of a super-herb, which makes chamomile tea the perfect drink; it possesses antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and carminative qualities. This means if your stomach is having spasms, pains or gas, chamomile tea can help alleviate the discomfort. Never underestimate a good cup of tea!
Peppermint seems to be a good and reliable pain reliever when it comes to indigestion and lower gut pains because of its menthol properties. The biggest thing to be careful of is to use natural mint, not peppermint candies. The sugar in candies can have the opposite effect and make your stomach feel even worse.
3. Warm Lemon Water
If you have indigestion and need help moving things along, lemon water can help! The high acidity of the lemon helps to start production of hydrochloric acid, which helps break down the food that's causing the issue!
4. Regular Water
It's extremely important to let your stomach calm down in the initial stages of the pain. But after you've given it time to relax, drink clear liquids, like water. It is important to stay well hydrated to keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
5. Salt Water
Salt water is actually one of the safest ways to detox and cleanse your colon. Mixing a teaspoon of salt into warm water and drinking it will create a forced bowel movement. If you have high blood pressure or any other heart conditions, consider using a different method!
Ginger can help with stomach issues, but can do more harm than good if you overdo. Ginger helps to create the production of "bile," a fluid which helps with digestive aid. But consuming too much ginger, especially on an empty stomach, can cause digestive distress.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
The suggested "remedy" with the use of apple cider vinegar is one tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey. This not only helps to soothe an upset stomach, but can help get rid of gas or cramps.
8. Bland Foods
When thinking of which bland foods to eat to settle your stomach, first stick to the normal saltine crackers and other tasteless items. As you start to recover, think of the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These foods are low-fiber, which will help stop vomiting or diarrhea.
9. Plain Yogurt
Most dairy products are not advised when you have a stomachache, but yogurt can actually help you! Choose plain, no extra sugar added, that has "active cultures." This increases the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract, helping with any stomach issues.
10. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are seeds that taste like black licorice. It's that exact flavor within the seeds that is used as flavoring in many digestive aids. These seeds can help relax stomach spasms which in turn helps with gas and cramps.
11. Baking Soda
While some of these items help to produce hydrochloric acid which breaks down foods, sometimes your stomachaches can be because of too much hydrochloric acid. Baking soda acts as a sort of antacid to reduce the amount of hydrochloric built up in your stomach. Many find that one to one-and-a-half teaspoons of baking soda mixed into a glass of cold water can help; you should never exceed five teaspoons in one day.
Cinnamon amazingly can kill bacteria and cure infections in the gastrointestinal area. This can get rid of any pain, bloating or cramps that you may have! Try boiling water with either a teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder or two — three cinnamon sticks. Let it sit for another minute or two and then enjoy!
13. Aloe Vera Juice
While aloe vera helps to heal and soften skin when used externally (when you get a sunburn for example), it can do very similar things to your digestive tract when ingested. The "British Journal of General Practice" states that aloe vera juice can alleviate irritation and can help heal the stomach lining and help repair ulcers. Aloe vera juice can also decrease the amount of bacteria in your stomach.
14. Prune Juice
Prune juice works great as a laxative, thanks to its high sorbitol levels (found in dried fruits). It is high in fiber and helps put an end to constipation. You can drink fruit juices high in fiber throughout the day. Just be careful, as you can consume too much fiber or sugar if you drink more than suggested.
15. The CRAP Diet
Cherries, raisins, apricots and prunes — the CRAP diet! All of these fruits are great sources of fiber and can help get things going. You want to start out by having only one service of these fruits per day, and then slowly increase to two or three servings a day (if needed). The biggest thing to remember is to not overload yourself with fiber!
Like stated before, bananas are extremely helpful for upset stomachs! They don't have too much fiber and they don't have any wild taste that could further upset your stomach. Bananas also contain potassium, something your body most likely needs if your stomachache is causing you to vomit.
If eating and drinking certain items just aren't helping you, try these few other tricks to get rid of that pesky stomach pain!
17. Using a Heating Pad
As Brian King of the University College London explains, "heat doesn't just provide comfort and have a placebo effect — it actually deactivates the pain at a molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work." Try using a warm washcloth, heating pad or warm water bottle on your stomach for some relief.
Aerobic exercise can help get rid of stress, counter constipation and speed up the food moving through your digestive tract. Not only is working out good for your overall health, but your digestive system will be thanking you! Aim for at least 30 minutes if possible.
19. Over-the-Counter Medicine
Let's be honest: sometimes these home remedies don't work, and you need to start taking the stomach pain a little bit more seriously. Thanks to this helpful chart by Woman's Day, you can find the six most helpful OTC medicines and what they do. Consult your doctor if stomach pains persist.
20. Getting Plenty of Sleep
While it is recommended that you stay upright when you have a stomachache, sometimes lying down and resting can help a lot. Sometimes it seems as if your body can work out any issues as you are sleeping. To help relieve any gas you may have, lie on your side with your knees up to your chest. Slowly move your legs up to your chest and then back down again if holding them to your chest doesn't work. It may take a few minutes for anything to happen, but changing your sleeping position can make a whole world of difference.
We at Fresh U hope that you feel better soon and hope that these tricks can help you out. Do you have any home remedies for getting rid of those stubborn stomachaches? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter!
Lead Image Credit: Peter Wendt via Unsplash